Challenges of modern interconnected complex systems

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The deluge of available data, growth in computer power and the increasing interconnectedness at all levels
offer great promise for the improvement of services, better use of resource, increased automation and higher
efficiency. We enjoy unprecedented access to data, harvested from sensors, monitors and information/social
networks, as well as uninterrupted connectivity between individuals, between infrastructure systems and soon,
between household appliances.
While offering great potential in the exploitation of data for the design, management and optimal use of resource, the interconnectedness and amounts of data available pose significant challenges and exposure to
risks. This is particularly true for the main infrastructure systems such as power and water networks, traffic
systems, logistic supply chains and information and communication networks, both wired and wireless.
The characteristics of modern complex systems are their large scale, nonlinearity, heterogeneity, variable connectivity and volatility, all of which make the analysis and management of such systems increasingly difficult.
Moreover, even in each system on its own these features may lead to emergence behaviour and cascading
failures; the risk is exacerbated due to the cross-links and inter-dependence between systems, for instance,
a failure in information and communication systems could have devastating effects on transport, power and
water networks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationThe Voice of the Systems - The Journal of the Israeli Systems Engineers
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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